The Saudi regime is facing increasing criticism from Republican members of the US Senate, against the backdrop of the crisis to increase the Kingdom’s oil production and reduce prices.
Republican Senators from the oil-producing states said they had phoned three officials from the Kingdom and demanded that they take concrete action to reduce crude production.
Members of Congress spoke to the Minister of Energy in the Saudi regime, Abdulaziz bin Salman, Khalid bin Salman, Deputy Minister of Defense, and the Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States, Rima Bint Bandar bin Sultan.
Senator Dan Sullivan said after the phone call that the increase in oil production by the Saudi regime during the coronavirus pandemic was “without excuse” and “will not be forgotten.”
However, Sullivan praised what he saw as a first step to solving the problem of dumping oil markets, and said that Saudi Arabia should now take the initiative to cut production.
The Kingdom, Russia, and their allies – who together make up the OPEC Plus group – reached an agreement to cut oil production by 10% of total global supplies, in lengthy talks on Thursday, and they said they want other producers to cut another 5%.
Oil prices fell to their lowest level in 18 years in light of the coronavirus, which caused the cessation of economic activities around the world, and after Saudi Arabia and Russia increased their production in a race for market shares.
Earlier, CNN reported that 13 members of the US Senate from oil-producing states expressed frustration with the oil price war, which is hurting American producers and threatens to undermine US-Saudi relations.
These members had recently proposed legislation requiring the departure of US forces from Saudi Arabia, and the transfer of Patriot missiles and the missile defense system THAAD unless the Kingdom reduced its oil production.
The channel quoted an unnamed source, saying that the members of the group do not intend to curb their anger, and will press for a solution.
Another source said that Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz had clearly declared that “Texas was angry”, describing the anger of Senators that he had not been heard of before this group.
The American channel reported that Senators fear that their electoral rules will be disrupted if American producers are exposed to financial pressure, which will hurt the economy even more at this sensitive moment in which more than 16 million Americans have submitted unemployment applications in the past three weeks.
The channel quoted Republican Senator Dan Sullivan (from Alaska), asserting that the messages sent by members of the group in a telephone conversation with the Kingdom’s ambassador to Washington late last month, clearly showed that they would not only re-evaluate relations, but would take steps that threatened relations Long was supported by most of them.
CNN said that a bill had already been presented to withdraw US forces from the Kingdom, and there was discussion of imposing sanctions if Saudi Arabia did not help find a solution.
She added that during the conversation between Princess Rima and the angry Senators, the ambassador tried to summarize the conversation and provide points for discussion, but they did not allow her to do so.
They explained to her that the loss of their support would lead to the loss of the Kingdom’s lifeline in Congress, and that after the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, support for Saudi Arabia decreased significantly in Washington, and they told her that without the support of these sheikhs, anti-Saudi legislation would increase more and more.
Senator Sullivan stated that last week when Senators met President Donald Trump, he asked him to stand with American oil producers.
Sullivan added that they made it clear to Trump – who is very afraid of hitting the American economy due to the coronavirus – that the oil industry played a big role in lifting the United States out of the recession in 2008-2009.
It is noteworthy that Trump made efforts last week to mediate the crisis during phone calls to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, King Salman and his crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.